Michael Crabtree went through his second consecutive full practice Thursday without any ill effects, and the 49ers watched their top four receivers practice together for the first time this season.
Mario Manningham missed Wednesday’s session with a knee injury but was back in a limited capacity Thursday. He was joined by rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton, who also was listed as limited as he returns from a broken foot, as well as Crabtree and Anquan Boldin.
With every practice, Crabtree seems more likely to make his 2013 debut against the Rams on Sunday. There was a question about how the receiver, who is returning from a torn Achilles’ tendon, would respond the day after putting in a full afternoon worth of work Wednesday. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Crabtree “looks like Mike’s always looked.”
Roman indicated whenever Crabtree returns to the playing field, he won’t be on a specific snap count but said it also would be unlikely the receiver plays a full game right away.
“I think that’s a fair statement in a general sense,” Roman said when it was suggested Crabtree would be eased back into action. “I don’t think we’re going to just throw him out there and have him play every play. It’s day-to-day, and see how he’s doing, see what he can handle, see what’s best.”
The 49ers limited Crabtree following his last major injury, a left foot stress fracture suffered during the 2011 offseason. He played in the season opener against Seattle that year but could not finish the game. He was inactive for Week 2.
Crabtree, as he did Wednesday, declined to speak to reporters.
Et cetera – Guard Mike Iupati was on an elliptical machine when practice began. He’s made progress with a sprained MCL in his knee but is at least a week away from returning to the lineup. Roman said Adam Snyder would make his second start in a row at left guard Sunday.
• Cornerback Tarell Brown missed practice with sore ribs. Tramaine Brock will start in his place at right cornerback, and coach Jim Harbaugh has said Brock has the license to take over that job even when Brown is healthy.
• Defensive end Ray McDonald appears close to returning from a high-ankle sprain but did not practice Thursday. If he can’t play Sunday, Tony Jerod-Eddie would make his third consecutive start.